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Respect for intergrity. How Christian animal ethics could inform EU legislation on farm animals

Alma Massaro


The present article is based on the assumption that consideration of non-human animals is an important element of an integral reading of Christian Scriptures. As several authors have suggested animals, as God’s creation, have intrinsic value and play an active part in the reconciliation process of the whole Earth. Such a reading of Scripture entails an interesting critique of the ways humans today relate to animals. Moving from this assumption, the present article will focus on EU legislation regarding farm animals, presenting the challenges following from its being mainly economically driven. The primary aim of this paper is, therefore, to show how Christian spirituality could help develop a new comprehensive ethics for living beings, beyond the paradigm of the human benefit; it will also suggest that Christian respect for integrity of creation could inform EU policy in a positive and more humane way regarding other animals.


Christian Animal Ethics; Animal Ethics; Food Ethics; Theocentrism; Anthropocentrism; EU Legislation; Applied Ethics; Respect For Integrity; Christian Spirituality; Encyclics

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/rela-2017-001-mass

Relations. Beyond Anthropocentrism
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (04/05/2012 n. 211)
Online ISSN 2280-9643 - Print ISSN 2283-3196

Executive Editor: Francesco Allegri
Associate Editor: Matteo Andreozzi 
Review Editors: Sofia Bonicalzi - Eleonora Adorni
Editorial Board:
Ralph R. Acampora - Carol J. Adams - Vilma Baricalla - Luisella Battaglia - Rod Bennison - Matthew R. Calarco - Piergiorgio Donatelli - William Grove-Fanning - Serenella Iovino - Luigi Lombardi Vallauri - Christoph Lumer - Joel MacClellan - Dario Martinelli - Roberto Marchesini - Alma Massaro - Barbara Muraca - Serpil Oppermann - Simone Pollo - Paola Sobbrio - Kim Stallwood - Sabrina Tonutti - Jessica Ullrich - Federico Zuolo